Triology (Cellar Live)
This first release from collaborators Bill Coon (guitar), Jodi Proznick (bass), and Miles Black (piano) is as old-school as old-school gets—and its creators aren’t afraid to admit it.
Case in point? Opening track “Ray Time”, a tribute to bassist Ray Brown that serves notice that these three Vancouver musicians have modelled themselves on Oscar Peterson’s 1950s band with Brown and guitarist Herb Ellis. Their song selections do nothing to disprove that notion: Peterson also recorded “Sweet Georgia Brown”, “Pennies From Heaven”, and “I Got Rhythm”, although not necessarily in the trio format.
The inclusion of several original numbers should work against Triology’s nostalgic feel, but no. Black’s “Morocco” appears to be the ultimate destination of Duke Ellington’s 1937 hit “Caravan”, and if Proznick’s “Adanac” moves forward into the bebop era, it still would have sounded retro by the time Charles Mingus and Ornette Coleman hit Vancouver’s original Cellar jazz club in the late 1950s.
Triology does advance a couple of points, however, one being that when you’ve got a bassist as strong as Proznick, drummers are definitely optional. And it’s always a pleasure to hear Coon, no matter what the context. As local guitar luminary Oliver Gannon mentions in his liner notes, the former Montrealer’s “big warm sound” also has “plenty of bite and punch when it’s needed”. Should these three talents record again, however, let’s hope they opt for a more demanding and less familiar songbook.
Triology plays a CD release at Pyatt Hall on Monday (June 30) as part of the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival.